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Environmental leaders and pioneers: agents of change?

Wurzel, Rüdiger K.W.; Liefferink, Duncan


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Professor Rudi Wurzel
Professor of Comparative European Politics and Jean Monnet Chair in European Union Studies.

Duncan Liefferink


© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This article distinguishes between states acting as environmental leaders or pioneers. While leaders usually actively seek to attract followers, this is not normally the case for pioneers. Dependent on their internal and external ambitions, states may take on the position of a laggard, pioneer, pusher or symbolic leader. When doing so, states employ various combinations of types and styles of leadership or pioneership. Four types of leadership/pioneership–structural, entrepreneurial, cognitive and exemplary–and two styles of leadership/pioneership–transactional/humdrum and transformational/heroic–are used to assess leaders and pioneers. The novel analytical framework put forward is intended to generate greater conceptual clarity, which is urgently needed for more meaningful theory-guided cumulative empirical research on leaders and pioneers.


Wurzel, R. K., & Liefferink, D. (2017). Environmental leaders and pioneers: agents of change?. Journal of European Public Policy, 24(7), 951-968.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 23, 2016
Online Publication Date Apr 29, 2016
Publication Date Jul 20, 2017
Deposit Date May 13, 2016
Publicly Available Date May 13, 2016
Journal Journal of European public policy
Print ISSN 1350-1763
Electronic ISSN 1466-4429
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 7
Pages 951-968
Keywords Change; Environment; Leaders; Pioneers; Positions; Powers; Types and styles of leadership
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in: Journal of European public policy, on 29 Apr 2016, available online:


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